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The Studio Behind Coraline and ParaNorman Is Doing an Absurdist Steampunk Stop-Motion Fantasy. With Cheese. Rejoice!


A stop-motion steampunk fantasy that’s “Dickens by way of Monty Python,” is produced by LAIKA (ParaNorman and Coraline), and features the vocal talents of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Elle Fanning, and Game of ThronesIsaac Hempstead Wright? And it’s set in a town where people are obsessed with cheese?


The movie in question is The Boxtrolls, just announced as the next collaboration between LAIKA and Focus Features. (The image above is a cropped version of a piece of concept art. Click here for the whole thing; it’s really neat-looking.) Slated for release on October 14, 2014, it’s based on Alan Snow‘s Here Be Monsters series, which I apparently need to read because this movie sounds like someone went all Professor X on my head and figured out the exact kid’s movie I want to see. Here’s how LAIKA describes it:

The Boxtrolls is a comedic fable that unfolds in Cheesebridge, a posh Victorian-era town obsessed with wealth, class, and the stinkiest of fine cheeses. Beneath its charming cobblestone streets dwell the Boxtrolls, foul monsters who crawl out of the sewers at night and steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheeses. At least, that’s the legend residents have always believed. In truth, the Boxtrolls are an underground cavern-dwelling community of quirky and lovable oddballs who wear recycled cardboard boxes the way turtles wear their shells. The Boxtrolls have raised an orphaned human boy, Eggs (voiced by Mr. Hempstead-Wright), since infancy as one of their dumpster-diving and mechanical junk-collecting own. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by villainous pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher ([Ben] Kingsley), who is bent on eradicating them as his ticket to Cheesebridge society, the kindhearted band of tinkerers must turn to their adopted charge and adventurous rich girl Winnie (Ms. Fanning) to bridge two worlds amidst the winds of change – and cheese.

The directors are Anthony Stacchi (Open Season) and Graham Annable, who served as the story artist on Coraline and ParaNorman. (He also worked on The Curse of Monkey Island. Woah, blast from the past.) In addition to the actors mentioned above, Tracy Morgan, Toni Collette, and Jared Harris will also provide their vocal talents. That is one heck of a cast.

As if I wasn’t enthused enough about this movie already, LAIKA CEO Travis Knight had this to say:

The Boxtrolls is a visually dazzling mash-up of gripping detective story, absurdist comedy, and steampunk adventure with a surprisingly wholesome heart. It’s Dickens by way of Monty Python. Tony and Graham have crafted a strange and beautiful world replete with fantastical creatures, good-for-nothing reprobates, madcap antics, and rip-roaring feats of derring-do. But at its core, like all LAIKA films, The Boxtrolls is a moving and human story with timelessness and powerful emotional resonance.”

Cheese. Misfits. “Rip-roaring feats of derring-do.” Richard Ayoade. It’s so beautiful I feel like I might shed a tear.

(via: Super Punch)

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